By Kerin Magill
The Fenwick Island Town Council at its Friday, July 26 meeting approved the purchase of a new phone system to replace one that is about 24 years old and to sell two vehicles and purchase replacements that better suit the town’s needs.
The town bought new phones within the past five years, according to Town Manager Terry Tieman, but the phone system is outdated, Tieman told the council — there are issues with call-forwarding, among other things, she said.
The new Comcast Business Edge system is low maintenance, which is good because “we are not IT professionals,” Tieman said. It will cost the town $274.28 per month for 2020 and going forward, Tieman told the council, which approved the purchase unanimously. Council member Vickie Carmean expressed concern about the expense during what she termed a “tight budget year.”
Tieman said “I think we can absorb that” in the current budget.
The council also voted to sell a dump truck and a Bobcat in order to buy newer equipment that better serves the town’s needs. The dump truck in question is “under-utilized” and too big for the town’s needs, according to Tieman. The Bobcat does not have tracks and will not navigate the dunes, or the beach in general, Tieman reported.
The council approved the sale of the two vehicles for a total of $54,000 to Meiklejohn Hardscaping and McCabe Landscaping, and plans to buy a 2019 Ford F250 truck with a plow and a 2016 Bobcat skid steer for a proposed total of $70,000, with hopes of spending less.
Carmean also announced during the meeting that the town has received $250,000 to start work on a long-awaited sidewalk project.
“It’s time to get started,” Carmean said, adding that she was notified about the funding for the project from the state bond bill earlier in July. She added that the town will get the money from the state in increments as the project proceeds, rather than in one lump sum.
Town Council Secretary Bernie Merritt announced that dredging in the town’s canals is set to proceed in the coming winter. “Things are moving,” Merritt said, adding that the goal is to do the dredging in January of 2020. The project is expected to take 10 to 12 days, he said.